5 steps to finding your passion

1. Ask God to help you. The very first thing you should do is pray. We will talk later about taking assessments and quizzes but none of that really helps if it isn’t what God wants you to do.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord , or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. Psalms 5:8 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.5.8.NL

2. Think about what you’re good at. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? When I asked God to help me find my passion the first thing that popped in my head was writing and reading. I didn’t think those things could be gifts because they weren’t hard. I didn’t have to work at them. I went to see an author speak at a high school in my area and when she talked about how she got her start it was from journaling. I was amazed! I journaled everyday for years. If this lady could use that as her jumping off point to a successful writing career then so could I. I never thought it could be that simple but it is.

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.2.6.NLT

3. Take some aptitude tests if necessary. I have done three different types of assessments, spiritual gifts, Strengthsfinder, and the Enneagram. For me, all three assessments were important. I wanted to do the spiritual gifts test because I wanted to know how what I have could used inside the body of Christ specifically. I do feel like most of the things I discovered were similar but that isn’t a bad thing. Finding some of my skills were similar gave me confirmation that I was moving in the right direction.

https://giftstest.com/

Spiritual Gifts Test – Adult Version

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/strengthsfinder.aspx   (Strengths is not free, but very informative. You could see if your job could pay for the test.)

https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test ( This is free and I felt it was the most accurate when describing the type of person I was.

4. Think about your experiences good and bad. This can help you develop your passion by thinking about how you would recreate those experiences for other people. Everything we go through can be used for good not only for us but for others. When I decided that I wanted to take my writing seriously, I wanted to write the things I was searching for and not finding anywhere. I want people to type in a key word or hashtag and find my blog. Eventually, I want to write the books that I have not seen written for people my age.

5. Try something new. Is there something you have seen online that looks interesting? Is there a master class you want to take? Is there something that you always wanted to try but have been afraid to? 

6. Don’t worry if the thing you already want to do is being done. It doesn’t matter how people are doing thing you do. There is someone that needs what YOU have to offer and nobody does it like you. We are each unique and designed with a purpose. A good friend of mine told me to think about how many different types of bread are in the store. Tons! Has that stopped people from making bread? Nope! 

Pursing your passion is going to involve taking a risk. God has put everything inside of you already that you need to succeed. Don’t let fear or fear of failure stop you from giving your gifts to the world.   

 

 

Dear Future Me

July 9, 2018

Hey girl! How you doing? Life is treating you pretty good right now huh? You finally have the kid(s) you prayed so hard for. You have a new job and Jesse has one too. Did you see how God worked all that out for your good? How all the rushing and plotting and planning you were doing didn’t speed anything up? How even after you got what you wanted you still weren’t 100% ready? Do you see how everything God had you go through was preparing you for these moments you are experiencing now. There is no room for selfishness as a mother. Shouldn’t have been any as a wife but you let that slip by you. You have people who depend on your every mood now. You thought you had to be perfect at everything but do you see how that is holding you back? Nobody is keeping score but you. Does it matter what anyone thinks outside your house? No it doesn’t. I’m telling you these things now because you think you’re over some things but you aren’t. You are pushing forward like you don’t need help but you do. Ask. Fumbling along is not doing anyone any good. Enjoy each moment you are in now. Life will give you ups and downs.

Today is July 9, 2020. All these things did happen, even the not being 100% ready for the blessing. As I reread this letter to myself, I think the biggest thing I notice is that I am being a little hard on myself. I definitely remember this time in my life vividly. I was still trying to get pregnant and having no luck, but I could sense that God was making a move in my life, I just didn’t know what and I wanted to be prepared. I was starting to relax and have more genuine fun. I wasn’t so worried about when I was going to get pregnant or what the future held. I wanted to enjoy life and God in the present and worry about the future later.

I wrote this letter when I got back from visiting one of my best friends in Chicago.

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3 months and 1 day later from my writing this I would find out I was pregnant. I never would have thought. I write all this to say, prepare for the blessing you are praying for, but allow yourself grace as well. God sees the work you are doing and He is pleased. Remember also what is for you, is for you. Nobody can mess that up, not even you. God doesn’t want you to be perfect, He wants effort.

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Update

Last month I said I was going to do a post every Friday and I asked my two best friends as well as few other people to keep me accountable.

I am happy to report that I did a post every Friday in June. I did not do a post the first Friday in July but I did a post on July 1. I am very pleased so far. I know that I have definite work to do. I have been Keeping commitments to yourself.

The first week of July hit hard. A few days I was tired so I didn’t write, like I should. Or I wasn’t on top of my reading and research so that made it difficult for me to write. My son is going to be home more days in the month of July so maintaining a writing schedule is going to be more challenging. As I write this write now, he literally is holding on to my leg and trying to also type on my keyboard.

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My son will take up some of my writing time but I know I could do better with managing my time in general. I am going do a post soon about managing your time more effectively, but needless to say that I have growing to do in this area as well.

Please continue to check every week for new posts. I am trying to build back up to post two or three times a week but I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I want to continue to be consistent first.

Thank you for holding me accountable. I appreciate each and every one of you for reading.

Have a great day,

Dominique

 

 

Keeping commitments to yourself

Its 3 pm which mean my alarm is going off to stop what I am doing and write. I was very tempted to skip it because I have so regular work to do. You know the work I get paid to do. I told myself, well I wrote this morning, so technically I will be ok. However as I was scrolling through my phone to upload the piece I already wrote I saw this title on my notes page.

Seeing this stopped in my tracks. I was going to not follow my own advice. So I decided to go ahead and write instead of putting it off until later.

Last week, I had a rare opportunity to work outside my house, so I wasn’t home when my 3 pm alarm went off. I was going to blow it off, like oh, I’ll get to it later but I decided to push through.

I was able to get quite of bit of writing down by deciding I was going to put it first.

I read in the book,Girl Wash Your Face By Rachel Hollis, to honor the commitments you make to yourself.

You would never cancel on a friend at the last minute, or keep making excuses about why you couldn’t you hang out with them. So why would you do it to yourself?

When I make commitments to other people, I am on time, I am excited and ready to work. I can not say the same when it comes to doing things for myself. I am trying to take my writing more seriously. Not because I want to make money from it, but because I want to get better. I want people to respect what I have to say. I told someone, I was a wordsmith and they kinda just looked at me.

Its hard to call yourself a writer if you don’t write. I needed (need) to be more consistent.

If you say you are going to work out at 6 everyday, let nothing stop you from doing it, not even yourself. I talk about how to have peace as self care and honoring the commitments to yourself is self-care too.

Treat yourself as well as you would treat your best friend, your partner, or your kid. 

Those are people you would work very hard to not let down. Give yourself that same energy. Showing up for yourself everyday will pay off. You just have to continue to be consistent.

 

Going off the beaten path

I went on a nature walk with some of my friends that quickly turned from just a walk into a lost in the woods adventure. It was very interesting because we moved off the trail very quickly and did so without hesitation. As we started to walk we ran into some really random things in the woods that we would not have seen otherwise. My friend said if we would have stayed on the path we would see things we would not have expected. When she said that to me, it really struck me. God used her to give a message to me and I don’t even think she realized it.

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How often do we want to follow the the path of least resistance? How often do we think we have to go the same way everyone else went to accomplish a goal? Getting to your dream might not be linear. It probably won’t be. There will be hills to climb and creeks to jump over. You may even get lost. How often when you are in pursuit of your passion do you lose sight of the vision? How often do you go back and check on the goal to insure your moving in the right direction?

I often get caught up in the  how to accomplish the goal that I miss the actually accomplishing of the goal. I get bogged down in the research and laying out the plan. How often do we get caught up in the work that we lose sight of where we’re going? 

We need to embrace the times when we go off course. I get so focused on things have to be done in this order or in this fashion, that I miss the inspiration. This post wouldn’t even exist if I had not have stopped working on another post to start it. I didn’t use to do that. If I sat down to write I had to finish that piece before I started working on another. I would never stop in the middle of something to write an idea down. 

You-Know-Youre-a-Writer-–-Write-Down-Ideas

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I’m beginning to shift my thinking and I am excited about where the road will take me. Don’t put yourself in a box as you are pursuing your passions. Remember that there is no one path to success. Someone told me that we should celebrate the steps, not just the destination. Its hard to do that when we are so focused on the goal. Being willing to go off course, could open you up to a world of possibilities. 

Now that quarantine is over

I am in an interesting space as we come out of strict quarantine and summer is upon us. Summer definitely looks different with COVID-19 and protesting happening all across the country. I saw tons of memes on my social media about if you didn’t come out quarantine having accomplished something then you were just lazy. I just don’t believe that to be true. Thankfully someone agreed because they changed it. This one makes a lot more sense.

lacked discpline reddit

reddit.com

 

If I am being honest. I have not completed a ton of projects in the 2 months that we were forced to stay. Posting again was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, so Yay me! for getting that done.

I just felt really stuck with not working in the traditional sense, and my baby and husband being here and the days rolling together.

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I had been feeling really off spiritually for a while, and that’s another thing that quarantine helped me get on track. I have attended more Sunday school and bible study than I ever would have if we were not in quarantine.

I felt bad though. I was spending too much time on Hulu, social media and reading books. I was having a mini vacation from the world and seeing other people have something tangible to show for their quarantine efforts really bothered me.

In my noon day bible study that I go to, she told us to go back and read your old journals to see where God has brought you from. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience, like I see God answering prayers but I also see a lot of heartache. I also decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts. There are over a 100 so it was more a skim, but I came across this one. Its one of the first posts I did and it talks about the name I picked for the blog. That was three years ago and I am still having this same problem. I talk about being stuck in research mode instead of just taking the leap and doing the thing you said you were going to do.

I sat down about 6 weeks ago and laid out my plan of my hearts desires. I asked God to be with me in those plans because there a lot of things my heart desires. After I wrote them down and prayed some more I put dates that I wanted to accomplish them. I continued to pray about those things in my quiet time until my Pastor preached a sermon on fear. Click the link. It’s really good you should watch it. It had a lot of great points but the one that stuck with me is we need to quit praying and move! I felt like God had slapped me, like, Hey, I’m talking to you! All this research and worrying, you are not going to get anything done. Just do it!

Then I had a conversation with my friends one Sunday after a nature walk (more on that in a later post) about pursing your passions and how much people pay for content, how to get things done and my mind was blown. I left so inspired! So ready to hit the ground running.

My next few posts will be about pursuing your passions and how to ensure you accomplish the goals you set. Stay tuned!

p.s-COVID-19 is still a thing, wear a mask.

 

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This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

10 ways to have peace in turbulent times

  1. Start your day in prayer and devotion. This will set you up for success. You can give anything that you are worrying about to God and thank him for all he has done. You can walk into your day/work with a sense calm and strength. This way you can take on anything!
  2. Don’t get on social media during the work day. At the very least wait until after lunch.I know this can be hard because social media typically provides an escape but not right now. Too much is happening in the world.
  3. If you have to go on social media, stay out of the comment section! The comments are were you are going to see the wildest things. People have no chill in the comments and you don’t want to be a part of that. Its going to instantly make you mad.
  4. Remind yourself that you don’t have to teach everyone. We are dealing with adults on a day to day basis, you don’t have to school everybody. You can provide a list of resources and remind them that Google is free everyday.
  5. Consider the source. Before you go and get mad at some random person on the internet remember that they probably don’t know you personally and if they do, this the perfect opportunity to block them. I went and unfollowed a bunch of people that didn’t serve me anymore and it has done wonders to my timeline. I very rarely see things that I don’t agree with. I understand that it is important to see views that are different than my own. However, peace of mind is priceless.
  6. Pray. When do you come across something that makes you angry or frustrated. You don’t have to hold on to it. Release it back into the atmosphere. Ask God to help you get over whatever foolishness you just witnessed.
  7. Find something else to entertain you besides the news and social media. Ride a bike, walk outside, yoga. In the world of COVID-19 we are not able to be as social as we normally would, so now would be a great time to find a new hobby. If you can find something that is free even better.
  8. Journal. Writing how you feel about whats going on in the world is a great way to get it out. You can even write it down and burn it later. I talk about how cathartic it is to burn things in this post, Burn it away
  9. Reach out to a friend or family member to help lift your spirits. Being in a funk by yourself is never a good idea. You may not be able to see them in person but talking things out with someone is better than holding it in.
  10. Watch, read or listen to something funny or light-hearted that will lift your spirits.

 

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This my son LJ and my dog son Hunter. Don’t they look so peaceful.

I know that these are crazy times. Between COVID- 19 STILL running rampant in the streets and the many injustices facing Black people, its a lot going on right now. You have to choose how much you want to be dialed in. Its perfectly ok to step back, take a break, and re-calibrate. There will always be work to do but you can’t serve if you don’t have peace within yourself. That leads to burnout. We don’t want that. Your voice is needed.

Cover image from The Practical Path

What ways are you taking care of yourself right now? Is there anything missing from this list? Let me know.

Small beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin Zechariah 4:10

This is one of my favorite verses in the bible its a little known book in the bible. Zechariah is one of the minor prophets.

This verse applies to so much of what is happening right now. As Black Lives Matters protests continue to happen across the country we are starting to see some changes.

One Instagram account pullupforchange has been having major corporations post their number of employees, executives,  to show how diverse they were or not. This may seem like a small thing but its huge! In posting how many black employees they have this not only allowing them to be reflective in their business practices but explore any implicit bias they may have.  This move could potentially lead to real change at many of these organizations. Many have already come up with a plan to review hiring practices to allow more black people and people of color to work at the top level of their company.

Corporations having to let people know they have work to do is the first way for us to fight systemic racism. I just read that Aunt Jemima will finally be getting a new logo for its syrup and pancake/waffle mix. This is great. Its about time. I always thought it was weird that a company run by and founded by white people had a old black woman as its “mascot”.

aunt j

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aunt-jemima-brand-will-change-name-remove-image-quaker-says-n1231260

Some people feel that’s it too little, too late. They wonder why these things weren’t done before. This isn’t the first time that people have complained about the lack of diversity. I have read comments online like why does it matter now? Just because something has always been a certain way, doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way.

Change has to start somewhere. Any step towards progress is still a step. Change doesn’t happen overnight and if we turn our nose up at small change then it can become more difficult to make big changes.

Cancel culture

My number 1 choice for tv inspiration would be Joyce Meyer. You guys know she is my favorite. I have read several of her books and I even saw her in person over the summer (for free!). My second choice would be Rick Warren. I would say he is my pastor’s favorite. Lately though I’ve been looking for something else. Just a different voice. I came across Steven Furtnick on YouTube. I really enjoyed the sermon I watched. He was young and fresh. Different than the preachers I’ve watched in the past. So of course I start to research him on Google. I was surprised to find several disparaging articles. Now granted they are 5+ years old but still. Everybody is a critic nowadays and when you are in the public eye it can be even worse.  I don’t know what to do.

Should I continue to listen to his message or do I take the critics seriously? In the world of cancel culture its easy to write someone off. What would you do?

I wrote the first two paragraphs back in February before the Black Lives Matter protests starting happening even before COVID-19. Does it feel like there was a time before COVID-19?

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Cancel culture has gotten even bigger in the face of Black Lives Matter. People are cancelling celebrities left and right as they come out saying all kinds of things.

Once a person is cancelled do they get to be redeemed? One example would be Kanye West. I LOVED Kanye West when I was younger, his music was great and it spoke to the people. Remember this?

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I saw that happen live! It was amazing. It was what a lot of us were thinking at the time and he just said it. However, that Kanye left us and was replaced by this guy.

kanye west maga

Kanye has definitely been cancelled by many of his fans. Myself included. I have not listened to a Kanye album in a long time. Recently however, Kanye has donated 2 million dollars to support the families of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/entertainment/kanye-west-two-million-dollar-donation/index.html

How awesome is that?!

It is amazing and I am very proud of him for doing that. The question remains…Is he still cancelled?

I’m still on the fence. I need to see more from Kanye before I make a decision on that or not. 

The one thing missing in all my observations is GRACE. When we think about cancelling people, or not listening to their message because of one mistake they make, what kind of person does that make us? 

Do we take into consideration what might have been going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

As we consume content and products out here in the world, where do we draw the line?  

Ask yourself what matters to you as you watch people/corporations make their statements about Black Lives Matter. Do their actions back up with what they are saying? Are they ready to truly change their ways? Have they learned anything? Does the action feel genuine? 

Remember that everyone is redeemable. Just as quickly as we cancel someone, remember they can be un-cancelled as well.

10 things I’ve learned since becoming a mother

1. Empathy- no one helps. People literally watch you struggle. I never noticed this before. Being a mom has shown me how to express feelings outside of myself and better understand other people’s emotions.

2. Patience- with myself, family, friends, the baby, its crazy. Patience was a big lesson I needed to learn. If I would have become a mother earlier in my life I wouldn’t have gained this skill set. Listening to babies cry or throw their bottle at you, patience is what you need.

3. Dont compare- to my old self, to my husband, to other moms, nobody. I thought the biggest comparison would be to other moms but I was definitely wrong on that. More on this in another post.

4. Be humble. Motherhood is nothing like I expected. I didnt have a ton of expectations but what I thought I knew I definitely was wrong. You can’t find all the answers on Google. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and judge what you would do when it isn’t your kid but having a kid of your own changes things.

5. I can do more on less sleep than I thought. So little sleep. Its insane. I used to love taking a nap but now I just do without. Nap when the baby naps is really a lie. Lol

6. It’s ok to say I dont know what I’m doing or admit I messed up. Once I started talking to people about my feelings I realised I wasn’t the only person going through that or thought that way. Moms are expected to have all the answers and that’s just not the case. Lots of things are intuitive but not everything and it was nice to admit that.

7. I have to be intentional about my self care. Writing, alone time, spending time with my friends, all of it has to be intentional or it won’t happen. I hate to admit but I’m better about spending time with my friends than with myself sometimes.

8. Water truly does a body good. I have heard this but I never tested it out myself until I was pregnant and after. The rumours are true. I had to drink it when I was pregnant and the results were great. I’m trying to get back to that space.

9. I will receive tons of unsolicited advice and opinions. I most often bite my tongue. Ive gotten much better about this than when he was first born. People are just trying to help. Their intentions are good. More on this in another post.

10. Everything has changed. I am ok with that. I have been trying so hard to be the person I was before but that girl is gone. A new better person is emerging.

I am stronger than I think I am.

My son just turned one. The hardest thing to put into practice is the self care. Its so easy to put yourself on the back burner when you have a kid.

I can expand on just about everything on this list. So much of this can be unpacked. I will in the upcoming months.